Brian Kelly performs at the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Hall on Oct 3rd 2018

By | Awards, Concerts

Composer & pianist Brian Kelly will perform music from his Butterfly Rapture solo piano album at 2018 Enlightened Piano Radio Concert and Awards Ceremony in Berlin at the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Hall on Oct. 3, 2018 at 3pm.

Enlightened Piano Radio is an online radio station that specializes in the best of today’s Contemporary piano music, and is an international co-op of artists who support, encourage and perform “piano driven” music with each other.

Event: 2018 Enlightened Piano Radio Concert and Awards Ceremony
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Time: 3 PM – 5:30 PM UTC+02
Location:
Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Hall
Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany

Get tickets here:
http://eprberlin.eventbrite.com

Prices:
€45 (Section A)
€30 (Sections E and D)
€20 (Sections B, F, G)

About the venue:
https://www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/en/chamber-music-hall

This year’s nominees include (* = performing):

Album Of The Year
Shoshana Michel
Christoph Pagel *
Oscar Pascasio *

Best Solo Piano Album
Joseph Akins
Brian Kelly *
Milana Tchebotaryov-Zilnik *

Best Album With Instrumentation
Ben Dowling *
Gina Lenee’ Perkins *
Deborah Offenhauser *

Best Jazz Piano Album
Louis Colaiannia *
Alan Storeygard *

Best Holiday Album
Clifford Borg *
Rhonda Mackert
Tom-Pam Rule

Best New Artist
Pam Asberry *
Annie Locke *
Davide Stramaglia *

Additional performances by:
Anastasia *
Ovidio De Ferrari *
Reis Dixon *
Mark Dunn *
Karl Prybyloski *
Greg Starr *
Tania Stavreva *
Lynn Yew Evers *

More Info: www.enlightenedpiano.com
SongKick: https://www.songkick.com/concerts/35009989-brian-kelly-at-berlin-philharmonic-chamber-music-hall
BandsInTown: https://www.bandsintown.com/e/100239156-brian-kelly-at-berlin-philharmonic-chamber-music-hall

Tomorrow’s Daydream album Review by Janet Mawdesley

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Janet Mawdesley at bluewolf-reviews.com:

Much acclaimed pianist Brian Kelly, has in his fourth album captured a little of what it is like to simply enjoy life, the moment of creation whether it be through music or living in this eclectic album of neo-classical gems to be enjoyed.

Tomorrow’s Daydream is a very definitive piece that sets the stage for what it to come and segues effortlessly into Tracing Rainbows, although the track is a bit more upbeat than the usual tribute to the splendour of the rainbow in its natural element. Perhaps this is not such an unusual meter to describe the beauty of nature as rainbows, in all their glory, are generally to be found after a storm or gentle shower of rain.

Fingers tripping lightly over the keys introduces Dancing with the Moon, a track which appeals to the imagination as it is very easy to see a lone figure, bathed in moonlight delighting in the moment, dancing freely, without cares, without limitations.

In a more reflective mood Journey Home is a more peaceful composition which in his signature style, at least on this album, builds to a peak before gently slowing and letting go, depicting the traveller, after a long journey finally arriving at journey’s end.

Secret Look bursts cheerfully onto the scene with a lovely up-tempo beat which encourages a smile and a little tapping of the toe, before gently shifting into the final piece Before You Go, which is tinged with a little sadness, as the end of this delightful album is fast approaching and goodbyes must be said until the next time. Slightly complex, the piece perfectly captures that moment when it is time to go but one lingers on, stretching out that moment of departure.

Kelly’s music background is varied and his ability to shift from classical, to gospel, then add the undertones of a jazz beat, overlaid with a world-fusion style makes this an album that will be enjoyed many times over.

Billed as a contemporary artist and solo pianist Kelly’s previous album Butterfly Rapture was nominated for the 2015 Contemporary and Modern Album of the Year, also collecting a silver medal for the Album and a silver medal for the title track Butterfly Rapture. This album has also been nominated for Best Solo Piano Album in the 2018 Enlightened Piano Radio Awards to be presented in Berlin in October 2018.

Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Dick Metcalf

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Dick Metcalf at rotcodzzaj.com:

Brian Kelly – TOMORROW’S DAYDREAM: Brian’s latest solo piano recording, released in March, 2018, is more on the “contemporary” side of things than “New Age”, though listeners in both realms will delight in his ability to create tunes that stir the heart… I last reviewed his “Butterfly Rapture” album in issue # 158, and he got high marks from me then. What makes his playing style so attractive to my ears is the strident and full-bodied chords, and as you listen to his high-energy performance on “Tracing Rainbows“, you’ll understand instantly why I say that… a gloriously wonderful piece of music. The title track, “Tomorrow’s Daydream“, is in a slightly more pensive mood, as you might expect… full of boundless possibilities and the joy of living! My personal favorite of the eleven solo s offered up, though, is “Dancing with the Moon“… it’s full of swirling notes that will bring back many memories of your own night-sky adventures. I give Brian a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this splendid and exciting aural adventure. Get more information on Brian’s Bandcamp page for the release. Rotcod Zzaj

Interview with Brian Kelly – Music Industry Insights

By | Interviews

Here is a brief interview I gave recently on some music-biz related topics (published on Disctopia.com).

Industry Insights from Brian Kelly — An Award Winning Pianist

We talked to Brian Kelly, an award-winning composer, pianist, and recording artist producing contemporary instrumental and solo piano music. He is a voting member of the Recording Academy and resides in San Francisco Bay Area.

Q: What is the industry scenario for independent artists? What do you think an indie artist should do to be successful?

A: First, it’s important to define what success is for you as an artist. For me, the kind of success I aim for is complete artistic freedom and authenticity. I want to create what I want, when I want, in a way that is authentic to me, not written to please someone else or to fit within a genre. My attitude is: I support my music. I do not try to get my music to support me. As for what to do on a practical level, artists should learn as many skills as they can that apply to producing and promoting their music, because they will need to do it all themselves! Everything from marketing, accounting, graphic design, website management, booking gigs, and on and on. All of the discipline, dedication, and persistence an artist devotes to their art must also be applied to the business side of their music.

Q: How important is the genre of the music in today’s world? Is the market ripe for only a few types?

A: I think genre is becoming less central to defining and discovering music, especially because of user-created playlists on Spotify and other streaming platforms. Playlists are introducing new ways of categorizing music according to moods, activities, instrumentation, tempos, etc. This is a great relief to me because my music is not quintessentially New Age, nor is it specifically Jazz, it’s a hybrid of several genres. Expanding beyond the limits of genre-labels is a good thing!

Q: What has changed for you in the digital age of streaming and downloading as an artist—do you need a different strategy to promote and sell your music?

A: The internet, social media, and the media environment in general is primarily visual, and there is a vast and ever-increasing amount of content being created, all competing for our attention, and attention spans are getting shorter. I must admit, I am little behind the times in adapting to the digital age. I am still committed to the 40-60 minute album as the primary format for musical artistic expression, comparable to a symphony or concerto. However, I will soon start releasing video content and releasing singles from my next album project.

Brian Kelly wins 2018 Indie Music Channel Award

By | Awards

Brian Kelly wins 2018 Indie Music Channel Award for Best Instrumental SongComposer/pianist Brian Kelly has won the 2018 Indie Music Channel Awards Best Instrumental Song award or Daffodil Hill (track 5 on his new album, TOMORROW’S DAYDREAM)!

The awards event was held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, CA on April 22, 2018.

Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Kathy Parsons

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Kathy Parsons at MainlyPiano.com:

Tomorrow’s Daydream is the fourth album from SF Bay Area pianist/composer Brian Kelly. Although the album was just released, it has already garnered two silver medals from the 2018 Global Music Awards – one for “Album” and one for “Instrumental Performance, Solo.” I’m sure the awards won’t stop there as this is an outstanding album! All eleven tracks are original piano solos that reflect Kelly’s diverse music background. He started his piano studies at the age of 8, going on to study composition, improvisation and jazz piano through college and beyond. He also has extensive experience as a stage actor and singer. Strong jazz and classical elements are apparent in the music on Tomorrow’s Daydream, as are gospel, pop and rock influences that blend to create a sound that is uniquely his own. I should also mention that Brian Kelly has the chops to express pretty much anything he chooses with ease. “The boy can play!”

Kelly’s 2015 release, Butterfly Rapture, won and was nominated for several awards and is currently nominated for Best Solo Piano Album in the 2018 Enlightened Piano Radio Awards to be presented in Berlin in October 2018. Kelly’s first album, Pools of Light, was released in 2004 and was named “One of the Best Albums of the Decade” by this reviewer.

Tomorrow’s Daydream opens with the title track, a piece that starts out at a leisurely pace and gradually becomes livelier while maintaining a relaxed feeling. The energetic “Tracing Rainbows” expresses a magical excitement wrapped in swirling colors and joyful exuberance – a favorite! “Dancing With the Moon” begins with a Baroque-sounding intro that becomes beautifully delicate and almost fragile, gradually building to an expressive peak before returning to the softer theme. Near the end of the piece, Kelly inserts a passage that sounds almost like a harp – wow! “Our Own Window” is smooth jazz with a slight edge – cool, relaxed and very graceful. “Daffodil Hill” is another favorite with its joie de vivre spirit and carefree innocence. I feel exactly like this when the daffodils start opening in the early spring and a whole hill covered with them is almost euphoric! “Meant to Fly” takes a poignant, bittersweet turn that is as beautiful as it is emotional – another favorite. “Iris Blue” makes me think of dancers in filmy blue dresses gracefully welcoming the promise of spring – I really like this one, too! “Journey Home” begins with a simple melody that seems to have its soulful roots in gospel music, gradually building more complexity and then returning to the simplicity of the opening passage. “All of Thee Above” has a gentle, uplifting energy that is unhurried and free. The spirited “Secret Look” overflows with unbridled happiness – also a favorite. “Before You Go” closes the album in a more classical style that is both elegant and emotionally powerful – a fitting end to a great album.

Tomorrow’s Daydream is excellent from the first note to the last and I hope it will bring Brian Kelly the attention he and his music so richly deserve. The album is available from www.BrianKelly.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!

Kathy Parsons – MainlyPiano.com


Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Vivek Kumar

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Vivek Kumar:

A very vibrant kind of music and definitely one of the few albums that I would place on the top shelf! There’s a lot of promise, variety, and novelty in the album. If you love listening to solo piano, this should be an easy choice for you.

There’s a kind of freshness in the songs, and I like the different moods that the artist has tried to bring in, presenting a visual imagery of the song’s theme with sound.

The first two songs are my favorite–they just carry a unique rhythm which I could easily relate to and feel connected immediately.

There are 11 tracks on the album and Brian has tried to offer different textures to the listener.

The control, the innovative approach and the dexterity of the fingers are audible at various places throughout the album–no wonder that Brian’s previous music has also been licensed for various purposes and was received with much admiration.

This is the first time I heard his music but I could easily recognize the ease with which he approaches his music–a clear demonstration of his mastery and skill. There’s a certain level of accomplishment for an artist, which once reached, becomes visible (or audible in this case) in the creation and the work of art separates itself from the rest. Brian clearly has reached that level.

I will say the album is worth if you choose to spend your time and money.

Congratulations to Brian for bringing out this collection and sharing his gifts with the world.


Tomorrow’s Daydream wins two 2018 Global Music Awards

By | Awards

Tomorrow's Daydream by composer Brian Kelly wins two silver medals in the 2018 Global Music Awards.TOMORROW’S DAYDREAM, the new solo piano album by composer Brian Kelly, has just won two Silver Medals in the 2018 Global Music Awards: one for Album, the other for Instrumental Performance Solo! Many thanks to Gary Mankin (engineer of 5 Grammy-nominated albums) for mixing and mastering my 4th album.

Tomorrow’s Daydream may now be pre-ordered on iTunes, Amazon, and BandCamp. The album will be available on all major streaming services (Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, etc.) when it officially releases on March 16, 2018.

New Album Tomorrow’s Daydream Officially Releases March 16th

By | Recordings

Tomorrow's Daydream Brian Kelly CD ecowallet artworkMy fourth album, Tomorrow’s Daydream, will be released on March 16, 2018, which is my birthday!

This is an image of the art proof provided by the manufacturer (DiscMakers). The packaging is a 4-panel Eco-wallet with spine. I created the package design, incorporating a spectacular image by Adrian Borda and a photo of me taken last Fall by my lovely spouse on our trip to Vienna. I am in front of the piano in the apartment where Franz Schubert died. He actually played that piano!

16th Annual Independent Music Awards Judge

By | Awards

Independent Music Awards logoI will be a judge on the nominating panel for the 16th annual Independent Music Awards. This month I will be listening to about 70 instrumental music tracks (in my area of expertise). The nominees will be determined and announced in early February.

Brian Kelly is a First Prize Winner in the USA Songwriting Competition

By | Awards

Brian Kelly - USA Songwriter Competition 2016 - First Prize - Piano Escapade - InstrumentalWow! The 2016 USA Songwriting Competition awarded me First Prize in the Instrumental category for “Piano Escapade,” the opening track on Butterfly Rapture!! Congrats to the other First Prize Winners! http://www.songwriting.net/winners
https://web.archive.org/web/20161122215711/http://www.songwriting.net/winners

Cam Nacson (Dance/Electronica)
Jared Rabin (Folk)
TrEv LuKaThEr (Rock/Alternative)
Frank Raknes Schonberg (Lyrics Only)
Marlowe Stone (Children)
Jesse Blaze Snider & Freddy Scott (Novelty/Comedy)
Pinnacle TheHustler (Hip-Hop/Rap)
Paulina Aguirre (Latin)
Tiffany Smith (R&B)
Lisa Hilton (Jazz)
Terry Fator (Gospel/Inspirational)
Benjamin Furman Music (World)
Tim Gates, Brad Hull & Will Nance (Country)
Jerad Finck , David Hodges & Steven Solomon (Pop).

Butterfly Rapture Album Review from Reviews New Age

By | Reviews

Here is a review of my Butterfly Rapture solo piano album from Reviews New Age (translated from Spanish by C. Comella):

Butterfly Rapture cover 200It’s been a long time since we have received a solo piano album where joy and energy are present in the majority of the pieces.  Butterfly Rapture brings us the colorful and intense work of pianist and composer Brian Kelly, made up of twelve compositions that travel intensely between tenderness and boldness, and all embellished with the fleeting light touches of mastery.

Butterfly Rapture opens with my favorite piece, “Piano Escapade.” This composition integrates romanticism and hope in its notes, making it one of the most beautiful pieces on the entire CD. The intensity of the melody perfectly joins with the nexus of the notes and chords. Fantastic beginning!

“Room for Sky” is subtly more formal and reserved. Large arpeggios emanate from the left hand, while the right hand covers the keyboard with a rolling and striking melody. Another wonder from Butterfly Rapture.

Returning to Kelly’s musical warmth enters “Flowers at Her Feet”. This piece, together with others of equally brief duration are those that give character to Butterfly Rapture’s radiant energy and light. “Flowers at Her Feet” has a touch of improvisation that offers a masterful stroke to the track.

“Lilac Horizon” is subdued, the first song on the album that breaks the general profile, but in spite of this, it does not stop being an interesting and deep theme.

We return to the happiness that flows from Kelly’s hands. He presents “Chasing a Breeze,” another of the album’s exciting jewels, a theme that invites one to imagine the rapid movements of the pianist’s fingers on the keyboard. A delight!

The shortest of the compositions is sweet and sensitive, powerful to the point of drawing a pleasant smile on the listener. With a classical and minimalist touch, Spiral Moon is one of the delights that Butterfly Rapture displays.

“Hills in Bloom” is not as intense as some of the other earlier pieces, but it preserves that same joyful touch.

Brilliant introduction to “Niko’s Delight.” A stroke of dance, the chords accompany radiant notes that are born in the high end of the piano. “Niko’s Delight” gives us the instant affection and delicacy of Butterfly Rapture.

Again, with a romantic touch, appear exhilarating notes. “Playing My Heart” plays with silences, with the fleeting force of notes and chords, and shows us the most tender and sincere side of love. Beautiful!

“View from the Swing” is a musical game, a fun soundtrack. Slightly quick and yes very attractive in its melody, “View from the Swing” mixes melody and jazz touches with tremendous skill. Beguiling composition!

A moment for reflection comes from “Winter Aura.” The piece presents a very original dialogue between both hands, and continues a game between silence and notes of the most pure jazz style. “Winter Aura” is another of the album’s remarkable compositions.

The title track closes the CD. “Butterfly Rapture” is a romantic narration made from music. Like the soundtrack from an animated Disney story, “Butterfly Rapture” delights the senses. The changes in tempo, the melody, and the magic are spectacular. Great, Brian!

Mastery, hues, and harmonies are seen in the new work from pianist and composer Brian Kelly, a perfect display of piano filled with life, capable of invoking deep emotions within the listener. Butterfly Rapture is one of the best solo piano albums of the year, without doubt.

Butterfly Rapture Review from Ricky Kej

By | Reviews

Butterfly Rapture cover 200Very grateful to have received a generous 5-star review of Butterfly Rapture on Amazon from Grammy® winning composer Ricky Kej!

“What a beauty! The expressive piano speaks a language of utter serenity and tranquility and makes any day a special one! From the sparkling melody that Brian plays out so beautifully on the piano on “Butterfly Rapture” to the soaring “Room for Sky”….the stark beauty of “Winter Aura”, the ethereal melody of “Playing My Heart”….the seriously lovely “Hills in Bloom”…each track imparts a certain imagery that imprints it on one’s mind. Now I just close my eyes and visualize these tracks :-). Produced brilliantly, this music is as incandescent and colorful as a Butterfly’s wings :-) :-) :-)”

Brian Kelly at Grammy® Mixer in San Jose

By | Music

I had a great time at a Grammy® mixer event held at JJ’s Blues club in San Jose on Oct. 12, 2016 (organized by producer/engineer Michael Lazarus). I got to hang out with three great trumpet players, whose Contemporary Instrumental albums are on the 59th Grammy® Awards ballot this year. L-R: Jeff Oster (Live!), David Longoria (The Journey), Steffen Kuehn (Leap of Faith), Brian Kelly (Butterfly Rapture). Best of luck to all of us!
20161012-grammy-mixer-sanjose

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